Rob Goyen can attest to the joy and benefits of running. First as a road runner, he achieved a better state of physical fitness, and then moving on to trail running, Goyen experienced competitiveness in a unique community while also enjoying a variety of landscape.
After starting a trail running group in his hometown of Houston, Goyen is taking it a step further and serving as race director for the inaugural Brazos Bend 50 at Brazos Bend State Park on April 26.
“We really want to expose trail running and racing to Houstonians,” Goyen said. “I think this gives our runners a source of pride in having a local race, and it shows off the state park.”
Situated just south of downtown Houston, in Needville, Texas, Brazos Bend encompasses almost 5,000 acres. With a variety of ecosystems in the park, there are also a variety of plants and animals — alligators included.
Perhaps more interesting to runners, however, is the elevation, or lack thereof. In 30 miles of racing, runners will experience only about a 50-foot increase, Goyen said. For the experienced trail racer, this is a perfect venue to push the pace and chase a PR, but the setting is also ideal for the curious cross-over runner.
“It’s flat and fast,” Goyen said. “It’s not rocky, not a lot of roots. It’s not a technical course. So for someone thinking about giving trails a try, this is a good way to see if it’s for you.”
The Brazos Bend 50 is part of the Texas Trails Championship Points Series. Visit brazosbendtrailraces.com for more information and to register.